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2013 Thanksgiving newsletter


It’s the second morning of December. True to form, I started a Thanksgiving newsletter before Thanksgiving but didn’t finish it in time. I’ve cherished grand ambitions about the scope and detail of the letter, but today I want to write something short and sweet.

Today I want to write about the Christmas cactus in bloom, and the delicious cup of tea I’m drinking, and the way Gus likes to lie across my arms while I type.

Christmas cactus

Gus on my arms

This was the year David and I got married, the year we moved from Massachusetts to Kansas, the year we changed everything all at once. It was a wonderful year. It was a difficult year.



In March I played Maria in The Sound of Music, fulfilling a long time dream.

dream come true

In May David graduated from Emerson with a master’s degree in theatre education.

David with his parents and Nana

In June I said goodbye to Stoneridge Children’s Montessori School. I had a beautiful bridal shower and a lakeside weekend with beloved friends. I’m pretty sure I laughed as much as I cried in June. I don’t think a person can ask for more than that.

beautiful Stoneridge


precious students


bridal shower



July held our wedding, our honeymoon, and our trek to Wichita.

Woo hoo!




on the road to Kansas

Now we live in the heart of the country. Two weeks ago David directed Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland at Truesdell Middle School. They haven’t put on a show at Truesdell since 1967.

Truesdell's Alice

I’ve been writing and skyping voice lessons and teaching yoga. I cook more. I keep the window full of herbs.

window full of herbs

These first four months in Wichita have drained away my illusions of control. I submit essays to resounding silence. I follow work leads that fizzle away. David’s job has been hard, and there’s not much I can do to help.

Can I tell you how grateful I feel as I look back upon this year? In the midst of enormous change, we’ve received so many precious moments with people we love. I have too many photos. It’s taking all morning to upload the scantest sampling.

people we love


more people we love

We spent Thanksgiving weekend with the Draper clan in Colorado. We played epic card games and sang Christmas carols around the piano. When we left, the family sang “So Long, Farewell” from the front porch.

epic card games

carols 'round the piano

So Long, Farewell

I’ll be 33 at the end of the month, and life still feels like a terrifying, delicious adventure. I watch my former students begin to finish college, and I’m as curious to see what I’ll become as I am to see what they’ll become.

former students

Here’s to 2013. I started the year in pain. I’m still awestruck when I think back to those dark days of January and the healing that followed.

Now the days grow dark again, and I give myself over to the mystery of this new season. David and I have both struggled this year. We’re far from understanding why we’re here or what the future holds, but each evening we settle into a soft gratitude for the life we are building together.

David and Gus

Mary Oliver said it best. There are a hundred paths through the world that are easier than loving. But, who wants easier?


10 thoughts on “2013 Thanksgiving newsletter”

  1. I love your story Hannah about your life, this year, your life with David. Wow, what a year!!! I had no idea you grew up in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, heard you were from PA. Anyway, we have family in Hawaii Kai Hawaii! Keep up the journaling, love it. And would have loved to see you as Maria in The Sound of Music!!!

  2. Hannah,
    LOVE your beautiful story….LOVE your beautiful you!!!
    Thank you for sharing! Massachusetts misses your sparkling spirit!!

  3. Hannah and David,
    Always remember… long as the two of you have each other(and with Gus’ guidance), you can handle anything that comes your way. What an amazing accomplishment for David, directing that show! I’m sure it was very challenging, to say the least. You will both do fantastic, even if it takes a bit of time. Kansas is lucky to have you; Massachusetts wants you back, though!

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